By transforming any math activity into a “puzzle” you can instantly engage students and make a lesson so much more exciting. I often use puzzles to initiate number talks and to challenge my students. I love the Aha! moments they have once they solve a problem/puzzle.
Why do students enjoy math puzzles? For the same reason, we all do. The challenge becomes “the mission” and an opportunity for success.
Maths puzzles are essentially math problems with a bit of a challenge or a twist that makes them interesting and exciting. Solving puzzles can help students develop a positive attitude towards maths as long as they are chosen carefully based on skill level so that they allow opportunities for success.
Solving math puzzles at school and at home has many benefits.
- Math puzzles encourage students to solve math problems for fun without the pressure. They ignite students’ interest and curiosity in math and make solving problems exciting.
- Although puzzles have specific rules and limits they allow students the freedom to select how to solve them. They help students develop strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. They help improve logical thinking and mental fluency. They boost spatial and reasoning skills.
- Puzzles are a good way to help students realize that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Flexibility and improvisation are required to solve puzzles. Puzzles can boost creativity help generate unique ideas.
- When puzzles are used as group activities they encourage teamwork and teach students to appreciate everyone’s effort and ideas.
- Puzzles can help students see mathematical concepts from a different point of view and realize how these concepts can be applied differently.
- They help practice finding relations and connections and improve memory.
- Math puzzles provide an opportunity to talk about maths, have meaningful conversations, and revise previous skills.
- Puzzles teach perseverance and help students learn to cope with failure.
- Puzzles can help improve students’ language and question understanding skills. They also offer opportunities for using mathematical language to explain their way of thinking.
- Last but not least puzzles can boost students’ confidence in math and in themselves generally.
We have created some math puzzle activities in the form of google slides for virtual learning. The activities come in two levels and they include slides with the answers and explanations.
Grades 1,2 (23 activities)
Grades 3-6 (42 activities)
A small sample below
As always here is a free version for you.
Find the premium versions below
How to use puzzle activities.
You can use the activities as warm-ups, to keep early finishers busy, to challenge advanced learners, the puzzle of the day, escape rooms, concept introduction, and more.
We hope you find this resource useful.